Degree: Doctor




Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences, University of Porto (FCUP), Portugal. Aggregation (Agregação) in Chemistry by FCUP in 2018, PhD in Physical Chemistry by Lund University, Sweden (2000), PhD in Chemistry by the University of Coimbra (1998), BSc in Biochemistry by the University of Coimbra (1992). At UPorto, lecturer of courses in physical chemistry, colloids & interfaces, thermodynamics, (nano)materials chemistry, general chemistry and biological chemistry.

Leader of the group "Surfactants, colloids and soft nanomaterials" at the Chemistry Research Center (CIQUP/RG3 - "Nanostructures & Self-Organization"), carrying out research in the development, characterization and applications of soft nanomaterials, including surfactants, polymers, polymer/surfactant mixtures, catanionic vesicles, liquid crystals, colloidal vectors for drug/gene delivery, hybrid nanomaterials, nanocomposites for various applications (energy-related reactions, imaging). President of the Colloids, Polymers and Interfaces Group of the Portuguese Chemical Society (2009-present) and chair/co-chair of several international conferences.

Director of the Master in Nanomaterials Science & Technology (FCUP, since 2022), director of the Doctoral Program in Chemistry (FCUP, since 2021), local coordinator of Erasmus Mundus International Master SERP + (since 2017) and former director of the Master in Chemistry (2018-22). Visiting Professor at Dep. Chem. Eng., MIT (2008), Roma Sapienza University (2007-08), Lund University (2001-08), Univ. Santiago de Compostela (2011-2015) and Univ. Adam Mickiewicz in Poznan (2018-24). Over 60 guest lectures and seminars at universities in Europe, Israel and the USA.

Published > 120 articles in specialized journal indexed in WoS / Scopus, with a h index = 37, 7 book chapters and 3 edited books. Supervisor of 7 post-doc researchers, 11 PhD theses, > 40 Master theses in Chemistry and Biochemistry, and more than 50 undergraduate and extra-curricular projects. General or local responsible researcher for several national and international R&D projects (with teams in Portugal, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Spain, France, Israel and Brazil).


Showing 5 latest publications. Total publications: 123
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1. Drug-Derived Surface-Active Ionic Liquids: A Cost-Effective Way To Expressively Increase the Blood-Stage Antimalarial Activity of Primaquine, Silva, AT; Oliveira, IS; Gomes, J; Aguiar, L; Fontinha, D; Duarte, D; Nogueira, F; Prudencio, M; Marques, EF Teixeira, C; Ferraz, R; Gomes, P in CHEMMEDCHEM, 2022, ISSN: 1860-7179,  Volume: 17, 
Article,  Indexed in: crossref, wos  DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.202100650 P-00V-T2M
Abstract Inspired by previous disclosure of room-temperature ionic liquids derived from primaquine and cinnamic acids, which displayed slightly enhanced blood-stage activity compared to the parent drug, we have now combined this emblematic antimalarial with natural fatty acids. This affords surface-active ionic liquids whose liver-stage antiplasmodial activity is either retained or slightly enhanced, while revealing blood-stage antiplasmodial activity at least one order of magnitude higher than that of the parent compound. These findings open new perspectives towards the cost-effective recycling of classical drugs that are either shelved or in decline, and which is not limited to antimalarial agents.

2. Recycling of textile wastes, by acid hydrolysis, into new cellulosic raw materials, Costa, C; Viana, A; Silva, C; Marques, EF Azoia, NG in WASTE MANAGEMENT, 2022, ISSN: 0956-053X,  Volume: 153, 
Article,  Indexed in: crossref, scopus, unpaywall, wos  DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2022.08.019 P-00X-3X0
Abstract Chemical recycling can be used to separate fibers that are constituents of different types of fabrics. This type of process can be considered one of the most effective forms of recycling, given that a large part of fabrics is made up of fiber mixtures. As part of an innovative circular strategy, the main goal of this work was to study the conditions for extracting cellulose from mixed textile wastes by acid hydrolysis and further transform it into cellulose derivatives, thus contributing to reduce such wastes and expanding the possible sources of cellulose. Our work covers a wide range of textile wastes and addresses the main technical challenges of this recycling methodology. The percentage of recovered cellulose powder varies between 65 and 88%. To evaluate the feasibility of using the extracted cellulose as raw material to produce cellulose derivatives, two strategies were applied: etherification to obtain sodium carboxymethylcellulose (with degree of substituion between 0.27 and 0.61) and esterification, to obtain cellulose acetate (with degree of substituion of 2.59). The cellulose derivatives obtained are very useful as additives in the textile industry, and hence the concept and practice of a circular economy are promoted.

3. Polymer/surfactant mixtures as dispersants and non-covalent functionalization agents of multiwalled carbon nanotubes: Synergism, morphological characterization and molecular picture, Abreu, B Pires, AS; Guimaraes, A; Fernandes, RMF; Oliveira, IS; Marques, EF in JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR LIQUIDS, 2022, ISSN: 0167-7322,  Volume: 347, 
Article,  Indexed in: crossref, wos  DOI: 10.1016/j.molliq.2021.118338 P-00V-W9D
Abstract While surfactants and polymers have been independently investigated as agents to separate, disperse and stabilize carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in water, mixed polymer/surfactant (P/S) systems have been far less studied for those ends. In this work, we investigated the ability of various types of P/S mixtures to effectively separate multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) in water, using rigorously controlled processing conditions. Two types of mixtures were explored: i) nonionic polymer (PVP, polyvinylpyrrolidone) and ionic surfactant (sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate, SDBS, or cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, CTAB); and ii) ionic polymer (poly(diallyl dimethyl ammonium chloride), PDDA, and sodium polyacrylate, PAS) and nonionic surfactant (TX-100). Detailed, high precision dispersibility curves (concentration of dispersed nanotubes vs. total P/S concentration, at fixed S concentration) are presented for four P/S mixtures (PVP/SDBS, PVP/CTAB, PDDA/TX-100 and PAS/TX-100) and their respective individual components. Quantitative metrics extracted from the dispersibility curves allow for reliable comparisons between the systems. In all P/S mixtures, beneficial (synergistic) effects in nanotube dispersibility are observed compared to the individual components, with the exception of the PDDA/TX-100 one for which a detrimental (antagonistic) effect occurs. Morphological characterization of the as-obtained dispersions by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) shows a significant degree of nanotube separation by the P/S systems. Surface tension and zeta potential measurements provide further information on the interactions at play between the MWNTs and the P/S mixtures, allowing to conceive plausible mechanisms for the synergistic effects observed. P/S association may not only offer conditions for an enhanced dispersibility of CNTs but also expand the types of noncovalent, reversible functionalization required in many applications, such as the development of nanocomposite particles, films and coatings.

4. A critical assessment of the role of ionic surfactants in the exfoliation and stabilization of 2D nanosheets: The case of the transition metal dichalcogenides MoS2, WS2 and MoSe2, Abreu, B; Almeida, B; Ferreira, P; Fernandes, RMF; Fernandes, DM; Marques, EF in JOURNAL OF COLLOID AND INTERFACE SCIENCE, 2022, ISSN: 0021-9797,  Volume: 626, 
Article,  Indexed in: crossref, scopus, unpaywall, wos  DOI: 10.1016/j.jcis.2022.06.097 P-00W-VTQ
Abstract Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), like other two-dimensional layered materials beyond graphene, have gained enormous interest in recent years owing to their distinct electronic and optical properties, and potential applicability in areas such as sensing, nanoelectronics and catalysis. Surfactant -assisted exfoliation is commonly used to prepare aqueous dispersions of TMD nanosheets, but a clear picture of the TMD and surfactant features that influence the dispersion process is still lacking. In this work, we present a systematic study of the dispersibility of MoS2, WS2 and MoSe2 in aqueous medium using a cationic (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, CTAB) and an anionic (sodium cholate, SC) dispersant, in a wide concentration range (seven orders of magnitude) and resorting to a carefully controlled sonication-centrifugation procedure. We present detailed, high precision dispersibility curves (concentration of dis-persed TMD versus concentration of surfactant used), together with zeta potential and pH measurements, allowing insight on the influence of the type of metal and chalcogen, surfactant charge and surfactant concentration, on the effectiveness of the exfoliation and stabilization. The metal (Mo vs. W) influences the dispersibility at low surfactant concentrations, while the chalcogen (S vs. Se) plays a more significant role as the surfactant concentration is increased, alongside the surfactant charge. Structural characterization by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM) shows that the methodology applied yields well-exfoliated nanosheets with controlled mean lateral dimension (asymptotic to 100 nm) and thickness (<= 5 layers). Finally, the type of ionic surfactant (cationic vs. anionic) and its concentration play a pivotal role in the profile of the dispersibility curves, leading us to propose two types of master curves with distinct regions of phase behavior.

5. Surfing the Third Wave of Ionic Liquids: A Brief Review on the Role of Surface-Active Ionic Liquids in Drug Development and Delivery, Silva, AT; Teixeira, C; Marques, EF Prudencio, C; Gomes, P; Ferraz, R in CHEMMEDCHEM, 2021, ISSN: 1860-7179, 
Review,  Indexed in: crossref, scopus, wos  DOI: 10.1002/cmdc.202100215 P-00V-1DV
Abstract The relevance of ionic liquids (ILs) is now well established in many fields, as their unique properties make them appealing as 1) greener alternatives to organic solvents (first-generation ILs), 2) tunable task-specific materials (second-generation ILs), and 3) multifunctional players in life and pharmaceutical sciences (third-generation ILs). This third wave of ILs encompasses a wide range of compounds, from bioactive molecules with single or even dual therapeutic action, to potential ingredient molecules for drug formulation and transport systems. In this context, the focus of this review is the emergent role of surface-active ionic liquids (SAILs) in drug development and delivery.